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Taipei celebrates sister city ties with Prague through a concert

By Yali Chen
 
Taipei signed on January 13 a sister city agreement with Prague, the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. The agreement deepens and reinforces the bilateral relationship by pledging cooperation in areas including tourism and education.
 
The same day, Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DOCA) held an evening concert in the Municipal House to celebrate the growing ties between the two cities. The Municipal House is a civic center that houses Smetana Hall, a celebrated Prague concert venue.

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Photo from DOCA
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (center, left) and Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib (center, right) attend the “Taipei Night” concert after signing a sister city agreement in Prague on January 13, 2020.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, and government officials from the two cities attended the concert. The “Taipei Night” performance was given by the Taipei Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and the Prague Symphony Orchestra (PSO).
 
Founded in 1969, the TSO is Taipei’s first state-owned symphony orchestra. Over the past 51 years, it has raised Taipei’s symphonic culture to international levels.
 
The concert commenced with Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D major, K.285, followed by Dvořák’s String Quartet in F major, Op. 96. The string quartet was written in 1893 during Dvořák’s stay in the U.S., and is known as “The American Quartet”.
 
Other pieces included “Taipei 1923,” a chamber music work with multimedia composed by young Taiwanese composer Shiuan Chang. In a live broadcast with multimedia visuals, the TSO also performed some  pieces to show Taipei’s unique cultural diversity.
 
The grand finale was Mendelssohn’s Octet in E♭ major, Op. 20, performed by eight musicians from Taipei and Prague. The work was completed on October 15, 1825, two days before the composer presented the autograph score as a birthday present to his violin teacher, Eduard Rietz. Despite the short rehearsal time, the performers showcased their superb skills in celebration of the friendship between the two cities.
 
Through the sister-city relationship, our two cities aim to strengthen ties in culture, education, commerce, technology, health care, and tourism. Since signing the first accord with Houston in 1961, Taipei has established sister city ties with 50 cities in 36 countries and territories.